Composite construction Water Bus starts trials

Written by Nick Blenkey
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First composite Water Bus set to launch at Damen's Antalya, Turkey, shipyard

SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 — A prototype of Damen Shipyards Group’s composites-construction water bus will be undergoing sea trials over the next few weeks. It is the first vessel for public transportation produced at Damen Shipyards Antalya, Turkey, which specializes in composite professional workboats suitable for heavy-duty operations, typically up to 24 m long.

“This is a prototype for the first of the new generation Damen Water Bus,” says Marcel Elenbaas, Damen Design & Proposal Engineer – Fast Ferries. “We believe in this new composite vessel and the benefits it offers to clients. The Damen Water Bus is the best fit for highly congested urban areas, providing a simple and efficient way of making use of natural waterways, and consequently integrating into the public transport network. Hence the reason we took the decision to invest in developing this new series.”

The Damen Water Bus has a slender hull, less weight than a traditional aluminum ferry vessel and low resistance, producing only a low wake and ensuring the vessel is fuel efficient. It can travel at up to 21 knots or 40 km per hour. The highly maneuverable vessel has a capacity up to 100 passengers.

The vessel can easily be adapted to specific customer requirements, and the selected composites’ production process facilitates a swift delivery to clients. The Water Bus is also very strong as it is built with high quality vacuum infusion technology, creating a difficult-to-penetrate closed cell, epoxy sandwich structure.

Passenger comfort has been given priority. The Damen Water Bus is equipped with two, forward facing, double-screw podded propulsion units, which reduce vibrations, besides offering low fuel consumption. Additionally, the exhaust of these units is under water, further reducing noise and vibrations.

The vessel is designed for easy and efficient boarding and passengers have panoramic views from large windows on the sides and top deck.

The first composite Damen Water Bus is expected to be in the Netherlands before the year-end and Damen has another composite Water Bus hull in stock, ready for outfitting.

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